Building trust into sustainability actions

Corporations play an essential role for the world to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ targets. This year’s World Accreditation Day is a strong reminder of the important role played by assurance to drive progress.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was launched in 2015. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set a lofty but necessary path to ensure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet. Reaching the targets requires significant contributions from the corporate world with companies setting and executing sustainable business strategies.

The SDGs 2020 report  shows that the world is not on track for 2030. The pandemic has not helped a picture where progress was spotty and even reversed, in some cases.

“Accreditation may not be what first comes to mind when discussing SDG progress. In our daily work with customers to help them deliver on their sustainability targets, standards and certification play a central role in ensuring the integrity, traceability and transparency of actions. Accreditation is an essential cog in a big wheel, building trust and driving progress,” says Barbara Frencia, Business Assurance CEO in DNV.

In many ways, the SDG focus of this year’s World Accreditation Day highlights the complexity of the endeavour and the amount of contribution required to secure a more sustainable planet. On a more detailed level it underscores the importance of holding assurance providers to a high competence and operational standard to facilitate and build necessary stakeholder trust in sustainability actions and mechanisms.

Certification of a management system or product, related training or assessment of supply chains and digital assets is used by companies and stakeholders to make critical decisions with confidence. Certification bodies and assurance providers must deliver and evolve at the highest level to help companies and organizations transition and realize their long-term strategic goals sustainably, collectively contributing to the UN SDGs.